An English Secret Garden Minimony

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. The challenges that 2020 has thrown at us has made many work out how to turn ordinary spaces into something special – like this suburban backyard that was transformed into a stunning secret garden minimony.

Unless you’ve been living under a giant rock (or possibly on Mars), you’ll know that the whole world has been thrown into chaos this year. 2020 has seen ‘social distancing’ become a widely recognised term. A ‘minimony’ is a lesser known term but one that has gained traction during these unprecedented times. 

In order to make their weddings a reality, many couples have had to readjust their plans and mindset in order to create a day that has been completely re-imagined. Luckily, the wedding industry is filled with exceptional talent and creative minds who are more than equipped to take the transformation of these celebrations in their stride. 

To demonstrate this, Claire Graham, an international photographer, and Laura Jayne, a UK wedding planner, organised a wedding shoot that aspired to depict just how special an intimate, COVID-friendly celebration can be.


The style of this shoot revolved around taking all of the elegance and opulence of a traditional ceremony and bringing it to an alternative COVID-friendly location. This ceremony took place in a suburban back garden. Claire and Laura deliberately chose this hugely understated outdoor location in order to support the notion that you really can create a gorgeous wedding celebration, even amongst everything that is going on in the world.

Claire Graham, the shoot’s photographer and concept creator, worked to capture all of the subtle details that culminated in a delicate yet indisputably refined aesthetic. Her signature light and airy style enhances the intimacy.

Plus, with less guests to worry about, it’s an opportunity to really indulge in the finer details of the day. With this extra budget, you can include a few luxuries that you otherwise may not have been able to afford. A wonderful example of this is the way the organisers of this occasion dramatically elevated the tablescape. This delightfully chic contrast to the garden setting was achieved by using cut glass wine and champagne flutes, intricately detailed chargers and plates, and even artfully mismatched vintage silver cutlery. 

The models were dressed by Blackburn Bridal Couture and Stephen Bishop Suiting, who provided the dress and suit respectively. Cecile wore a mesmerising halterneck dress by Anna Kara, which was paired with bespoke crystal earrings and hair pins from A Beautiful Edit


The colour palette was delicate and simple. The intention was to keep the colour palette neutral and minimal, in order to completely keep the spotlight on the couple and their moment. 

A perfect example of the day’s understated colour palette can be seen in the choice of stationery. This was designed by Lou Paper, who created a bespoke stationery suite which reflected the refined, tasteful colours of the celebration. She used a mix of handmade papers and crisp white card for the place names, and menus with letterpress details and silk ribbons for the table. Every guest had their own menu, and the place names were decorated with handwritten calligraphy and silver foil detailing.  


In keeping with the light design touch that was applied to all of the elements of this garden minimony, Ali from Bloomologie created a gorgeous bouquet and table centrepiece. She used a combination of fresh and dried flowers, all in a very pale and muted colour palette. The floral arrangements were strikingly simple, and were all the more elegant for it.


  • If you have to cut down on the guest list, turn this into a positive thing by treating yourself to some beautiful, bespoke decorations for your celebration. 
  • An understated colour palette is a beautiful thing – never forget the age-old mantra of simple yet effective.   
  • There are lots of clever ways that you can adjust your ceremony to fit with applicable safety guidelines. Take the cake for example – a small cake adorned with a simple but luxurious statement bow. Perfect for an intimate occassion. See our feature on Small Cakes for Intimate Celebrations.



Photography: Claire Graham // Event Planning, Coordination and Styling: Your Wedding Your Way // Florist: Bloomologie // Hair and Makeup: Be You Weddings // Wedding Dress: JLM Couture // Furniture and Props: Idyllic Days // Cake: Claire Lawrence Cake Design // Stationery: Lou Paper // Silks and Linens: Silk and Purl // Suit and Accessories: SBS Suiting // Dress and Veil: Blackburn Bridal // Shoes: Emmy London c/o Blackburn Bridal // Earrings and Hair Accessories: Rachel Sokhal Bridal Accessories c/o A Beautiful Edit // Film Lab: Carmencita Film Lab